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The Carbon Flame War
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Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Re: Re: Rearranging the deck chairs on 04/24/2008 14:45:50 MDT Print View

Blimey Rick, you wait until it's all over bar the shouting, and then post this load of stuff, why didn't you join in the debate instead of trying to get away with having the last say?

>What looms are numerous so-called “tipping points” which can speed this change from its present jogging pace to a full gallop.

Runaway positive feedbacks? Come on, that's so last millenium. ;-)

"2007 is noteworthy because it occurs at a time when solar irradiance is at a minimum"

In actual fact, we may still be some time away from solar minimum, which NASA really ought to know, since they have a webpage devoted to the new cycle 24's first sunspot appearing in Jan 2008. (Which disappeared in two days, and kept us waiting 2 weeks for another, a sign of a weak start.) We still have the tail end of cycle 23 going on too, in the form of spots of the opposite polarity in the Hale cycle. There are several eminent solar physicists predicting cycles 24 and 25 could be much lower than the last 5 spanning the last 55 years.

"Tapping oversees the operation of a 60-year-old radio telescope that he calls a “stethoscope for the sun.” Recent magnetic field readings are as low as he’s ever seen, he says, and he’s worked with the instrument for more than 25 years. If the sun remains this quiet for another a year or two, it may indicate the star has entered a downturn that, if history is any precedent, could trigger a planetary cold spell that could bring massive snowfall and severe weather to the Northern Hemisphere."

"Successive low-amplitude solar cycles yield more globe-cooling La Ninas & more cloud cover. see:

Data from mud & ice core samples show that these bi- & tri-centennial slumps in solar activity cause significant declines in ocean and plant productivity"

GISS is the hottest of the indexes I think skots told us in his excellent post on data sources. GISS uses temperature data adjusted for the urban heat island effect which corrects readings from big cities with rural ones such as the ones in Death Valley. One of these is 20 feet from an aircon system exhaust, another is on the edge of a big black tarmac parking lot. They like it hot in Texas, maybe they are going for the world record held by Iran....

Here's a pic of the one at Marysville CA so you can go check it yourself if you think I've photoshopped it.

Marysville temp station

Satellite measurements are not prone to this sort of jiggery pokery, and give less warming for the last 30 years, which is why MMGW afficianados don't like them.

>We are losing net glacial ice in both polar regions, Antarctica included, and the pace of glacier loss is accelerating.

Antarctic sea ice was at a record extent last winter. Glacier loss is more than offset by ice accretion and has been for many years now. In any case it takes glaciers many hundreds of years to start melting, so this is nothing to do with anthropogenic CO2.

The glacier loss in the tropical regions is more interesting. The tropics seem to be getting hotter above the global average rate, just as the poles are cooling (south) and warming at less than the global average rate(north) Apparently according to new research on ice cores in Argentina and another location I can't recall just now, show there was a big cooling event about 5000 years ago which we're just recovering from in the last 50 years or so according to the deuterium levels.
No-one has a good theory of why or how the earth is adjusting itself in this way yet.

>The theory of a solar-sourced cosmic ray impact on cloud cover and therefore, its being the primary cause of temperature shifts doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.

As the IPCC cheerfully admits, before producing a quantity for man made warming, understanding of the effects of the solar wind and cosmic ray influence on the climate is currently at a "Low level of scientific understanding". Which isn't to say it doesn't exist. Solar storms cause widespread disruption to power supplies, GPS satellites and so on. Don't underestiate the power of the rays just 'cause you can't see 'em. ;-)

However things are picking up in this area of research. This just in from the Ukraine:

“The team constructed a model of the Earth’s climate in which the only significant inputs were variations in the Sun’s power output and changes to the galactic cosmic ray flux ( They found that the model’s predicted evolution of the Earth’s surface temperature over the last 700,000 years agrees well with proxy temperature data taken from Antarctic ice cores (”

>Al Gore is a big fat liar

I know, but you still won't respond to the 35 errors in his fantasy disaster movie I gave you the url for twice.

I'm going to post one each time you mention him. See below. Lol.

>serious, coordinated development of non-carbon based energy

Now this is something we can agree on and get excited about. It was calculated that the entire energy needs of the USA could be generated by a 200 mile by 200 mile array of mirrors focussing onto sterling engines. In experiments, they were achieving a kilowatt from a parabolic mirror of 1.5m^2, which is remarkably efficient. I'll dig out the links when I have time.



Gore's Gaffs:


CO2 "driving temperature"

Gore says that in each of the last four interglacial warm periods it was changes in carbon dioxide concentration that caused changes in temperature. It was the other way about. Changes in temperature preceded changes in CO2 concentration by between 800 and 2800 years, as scientific papers including the paper on which Gore’s film had relied had made clear.

Ms. Kreider says it is true that “greenhouse gas levels and temperature changes in the ice signals have a complicated relationship but they do fit.” This does not address Gore’s error at all. The judge found that Gore had very clearly implied that it was changes in carbon dioxide concentration that had led to changes in temperature in the palaeoclimate, when the scientific literature is unanimous (save only for a single paper by James Hansen, whom Gore trusts) to the effect that the relationship was in fact the other way about, with a carbon dioxide feedback contributing only a comparatively insignificant further increase to temperature after the temperature change had itself initiated a change in carbon dioxide concentration.

The significance of this error was explained during the court proceedings, and was accepted by the judge. Gore says that the 100 ppmv difference between carbon dioxide concentrations during ice-age temperature minima and interglacial temperature maxima represents “the difference between a nice day and a mile of ice above your head.” This would imply a CO2 effect on temperature about 10 times greater than that regarded as plausible by the consensus of mainstream scientific opinion (see Error 10).

Ms. Kreider refers readers to a “more complete description” available at a website maintained by, among others, two of the three authors of the now-discredited “hockey stick” graph that falsely attempted to abolish the Mediaeval Warm Period. The National Academy of Sciences in the US had found that graph to have “a validation skill not significantly different from zero” – i.e., the graph was useless.

Edited by tallbloke on 04/25/2008 06:32:27 MDT.

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
Re: Re: Re: Rearranging the deck chairs on 04/25/2008 00:49:19 MDT Print View

Not, NOT going to get sucked back into this! And Lord knows that Rog's 4th paragraph is just BEGGING for me to make a snide (but unproductive) comment... ;-)

Blimey, indeed. (And I had always wondered how to spell "blimey".)

I've posted charts based on GISS and those other NASA temperature data before, Rick, and Rog doesn't find it very compelling. We have that data, and Rog responds that he has conflicting data. Personally I think that NOAA and NASA are damned reputable sources, but there you go. We've agreed not to keep bashing one another over it. It has gotten boring.

Identical arguments about Antarctic ice and solar forcing. I will not comment on Al Gore, because it is irrelevent. What one idiot says in a multimedia summation intended for lay consumption does not detract from similar statements made by experts. (Though, personnaly, I LOVE all the websites that tear Michael Moore's "documentaries" to pieces.) I have never even bothered to watch the thing.

Anyway, on to what I really wanted to ask:

Rog sez:
>"Now this is something we can agree on and get excited about. It was calculated that the entire energy needs of the USA could be generated by a 200 mile by 200 mile array of mirrors focussing onto sterling [sic] engines. In experiments, they were achieving a kilowatt from a parabolic mirror of 1.5m^2, which is remarkably efficient."

Are you talking about that article in Scientific American where they talk about storing power in the form of compressed air in underground caverns and mines? I remember reading it on a airplane a few months back and it didn't claim to produce ALL the power the US would need, but something like 70% of it. The study assumed continuing advances in solar power technology, and I think the authors made a case for using other alternative power sources for the rest of US demand. And, Jesus, talk about ruining 40,000 square miles of desert habitat! But I guess we'll have to sacrifice something to gain something...

Oh, found a link,

They don't talk about Stirling engines, though, just improved photovoltaic cells and hot salt systems, so I guess we're not talking about the same thing. In their defense at least they have an integrated plan for how this could be implemented by 2050 (including the power-transmission infrastructure), rather than merely theoretical calculations on power production.

Edited by acrosome on 04/25/2008 01:02:24 MDT.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Stirling engine - solar powered! on 04/25/2008 01:30:02 MDT Print View

Hi Dean,

here's diy stirling engine which demonstrates the principle quite nicely:

This one is mechanical in output, but the really efficient ones use a coil around the barrel and magnets on the piston to produce AC current directly. Here's a link to some bigger scale stuff, not all stirling engine based, but cool anyway.
Check the 20 kilowatt stirling near the bottom of the the page!

And here it is in action supplying san diego CA

Don't blame you for not getting dragged back in, found that refutation of Warming ---> CO2 lag yet?? ;-)

Giss data isn't much more skewed than the other main ones like Hadley (hadCRUT). They both adjust for Urban Heat Island effect, which you said was denied by several pro MMGW scientists, but not enough IMO. The satellites don't lie about ratios, even if calibrating them to absolute values presents difficulties.

By the way Dean, were you aware the Heartlands lot hosted a conference in March, here's a snippet from Jo Bast's intro speech:

"Two weeks ago, Jim Martin, executive director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, when told of our conference, said, “You could have a convention of all the scientists who dispute climate change in a relatively small phone booth.” (Denver Post, February 12, 2008). predicted that no real scientists would show up at this conference.

Well ...

We have with us, tonight and tomorrow, more than 200 scientists and other experts on climate change, from Australia, Canada, England, France, Hungary, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, Sweden, and of course the United States.

They come from the University of Alabama, Arizona State, Carleton, Central Queensland, Delaware, Durham, and Florida State University.

From George Mason, Harvard, The Institute Pasteur in Paris, James Cook, John Moores, Johns Hopkins, and the London School of Economics.

From The University of Mississippi, Monash, Nottingham, Ohio State, Oregon State, Oslo, Ottawa, Rochester, Rockefeller, and the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.

And from the Russian Academy of Sciences, Suffolk University, the University of Virginia, Westminster School of Business (in London), and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

And I apologize if I left anyone out.

These scientists and economists have been published thousands of times in the world’s leading scientific journals and have written hundreds of books. If you call this the fringe, where’s the center?

Hey Jim Martin, does this look like a phone booth to you?

Hey RealClimate, can you hear us now?

These scientists and economists deserve to be heard. They have stood up to political correctness and defended the scientific method at a time when doing so threatens their research grants, tenure, and ability to get published. Some of them have even faced death threats for daring to speak out against what can only be called the mass delusion of our time.

And they must be heard, because the stakes are enormous.

George Will, in an October Newsweek column commenting on Al Gore’s Nobel Peace Prize, wrote that if nations impose the reductions in energy use that Al Gore and the folks at RealClimate call for, they will cause “more preventable death and suffering than was caused in the last century by Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot combined.”

It takes more than four Norwegian socialists to win a Pulitzer Prize, so I’ll put George Will’s Pulitzer Prize and his recent Bradley Prize up against Gore’s Nobel any day.

You’ve probably read some of the attacks that have appeared in the blogosphere and in print directed against this conference, and against The Heartland Institute. Let me repeat for the record here tonight what appears prominently on our Web site:

* No corporate dollars were used to help finance this conference.

* The Heartland Institute has 2,700 donors, and gets about 16 percent of its income from corporations.

* Heartland gets less than 5 percent of its income from all energy-producing companies combined. We are 95 percent carbon free.

And let me further add to the record:

* The honoraria paid to all of the speakers appearing at this conference add up to less than the honorarium Al Gore gets paid for making a single speech, and less than what his company makes selling fake carbon “off-sets” in a week."

Edited by tallbloke on 04/25/2008 05:13:00 MDT.

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
Re: Stirling engine - solar powered! on 04/25/2008 10:32:57 MDT Print View

Jesus, Rog, are you TRYING to stir me up again?

Though they claim they are "not affiliated with any political party, business, or foundation"- which they somehow defend by pointing out that they are considered a tax-exempt nonprofit organization by the IRS- Heartland STILL has board executives from corporations like McGuireWoods LLC, BankNote Capital LLC, Peterson & Ross, Chicago Equity Fund Inc., Padco Lease, Mediline Inc., and Philip Morris (Roy E. Marden, retired) and AMOCO (James L. Johnson, retired) and General Motors (Thomas Walton, Director, Economic Policy Analysis). Mother of God, but don't those last three catch your eye ?!? I will grant that they were smart enough to remove the guy from Exxon a while ago, but they used to be represented, too. (Walter F. Buchholtz, Government Relations & Issues Advisor, ExxonMobil Corporation. On page 20 of Heartland's 2005 IRS return he was listed as a 'Government Relations Adviser'.)

If this doesn't count as a corporate mouthpiece, then I don't know what does.

And Heartland still emphasizes the economic and *profit* impact of environmental measures in many of its statements (including the website). It is, in fact, a lobbyist organization on the part of big business. For instance, it publishes periodicals that are directed at legislators, and include stuff like "Budget and Tax News" and "Lawsuit Abuse Fortnightly", and generally draws on the works of other pro-business think-tanks.

Some of their environmental positions include:

1. Most scientists do not believe that human activity threatens to disrupt the Earth's climate. (Which is bunk. They're out there, but they certainly aren't the majority)

2. Most reliable temperature data show no global warming trend. (Which even you disagree with, Rog.) ;-)

3. A modest amount of global warming, should it occur, would be beneficial to the natural world and to human civilization. (*Shudder*)

4. The best strategy to pursue is one of "no regrets." (Direct quote. No kidding. This should scare even you, Rog.)

Here's the link to Heartland's own pamphlet on these issues:

The first chapter of the pamphlet is a long rant on how expensive and unprofitable it would be to enforce the Kyoto Accord.

Most of the speech you posted sounds very defensive, especially when referencing the *Vast Environmental Conspiracy*. Again. If I may be forgiven for being so bold as to direct your own words back at you: "Yawn." ;-) And if you think 200 people worldwide isn't a "phonebooth", you've got to be kidding me. :-P But wait! It's even BETTER THAN THAT!

Note how he mentions economists and policy advisors several times. So, how many of these 200 weren't scientists? Well, to answer my rhetorical question, the New York Times reports that while the Heartland conference "was largely framed around science ... when an organizer made an announcement asking all of the scientists in the large hall to move to the front for a group picture, 19 men did so."

Here's my source:

Well. You could almost take that phonebooth analogy literally, now, huh?

But one of the headline speakers at the conference was Australian oil imported David Archibald, so I guess that gives the conference a certain respectability. :-)

Heartland is still not NOAA, the National Academy of Science, the European Geosciences Union, etc., etc., etc.

Heartland *claims* that only 5% of it's donations come from energy corporations, but they have refused to release their donor list in recent years. (As several watchdog organizations have requested.) Back before they wised up and stopped releasing that info that HAD taken money from Exxon and Philip Morris and, well, you get the picture. (They also fight against anything that stinks of anti-tobacco legislation, and claim that second-hand smoke is harmless. And, of course, that horrible economic harm will come of such bans. I draw your attention again to Philip Morris's presence on the board.)


Also, here is SourceWatch's article on where their money really comes from:

I think Greenpeace are a lunatic organization, the control of which long ago fell into the hands of barely-educated zealots, and out of the hands of scientists. But, hell, since we're discussing lunatic organizations anyway, Greenpeace's ExxonSecrets website claims that Heartland has received at least $791,500 from Exxon ALONE since 1998:

All of this information took me *MAYBE* 15 minutes to collect. It took me longer to type it.

Rog, with friends like this, you really don't need any enemies.

Are you still going to try to defend them?

P.S. I'm familiar with Stirling engines, but thanks. I researched various alternative energy sources in the process of planning for my dream house (far too many decades away). Once I am no longer a wandering gypsy I plan to follow your honorable example by mulching, using solar, etc.

P.P.S. Rog, I truly hope that you realize that I mean my tone to be one of friendly teasing, and not one of antagonistic criticism. (I just realized that it could be misinterpreted, again.) Hell, I like you. At least you back up what you say instead of just ranting, like so many others on both sides of most hot-button issues.

Edited by acrosome on 04/25/2008 11:04:27 MDT.

s k
(skots) - F
Re: Re: Re: Rearranging the deck chairs on 04/25/2008 11:03:33 MDT Print View

Hi, again Rog,

Again a few comments, I hope you’re still around.

>Rick wrote: "What looms are numerous so-called “tipping points” which can speed this change from its present jogging pace to a full gallop."

>Rog wrote in response: "Runaway positive feedbacks? Come on, that's so last millenium. ;-)"

Morphing a sentence about tipping points, and the quickening gate associated with passing them, into the concept of runaway positive feedbacks, is false.

>Rog wrote: "Satellite measurements are not prone to this sort of jiggery pokery, and give less warming for the last 30 years, which is why MMGW afficianados don't like them."

>Rog wrote: "The satellites don't lie about ratios, even if calibrating them to absolute values presents difficulties.

Satellites are prone to orbital drift, orbital decay, replacement by other satellites with different orbits, replacement by satellites with different programs etc. These issues can all lead to ratio inconsistency. There are also many records and re-analyses, of varying quality, to choose from. I agree, satellites don’t lie; neither do thermometers.

However, great effort has been made recently, (2002 – 2005?), to reconcile satellite data collected over the last near thirty years.

At the address below is a very brief article (blog), comparing GISS land, GISS combined land and ocean, UAH, RSS, and HadCRUT. As indicated by the author, the data are graphed as reported. The data from the different records are not converted to a common base. A conversion would likely result in small graphical differences, unpredictable by me. Satellite temperature data have higher uncertainties than surface temperature data, but the striking parallel movement of the records can be seen at the second address below.

>Rog wrote: “In actual fact, we may still be some time away from solar minimum, which NASA really ought to know, since they have a webpage devoted to the new cycle 24's first sunspot appearing in Jan 2008. (Which disappeared in two days, and kept us waiting 2 weeks for another, a sign of a weak start.) We still have the tail end of cycle 23 going on too, in the form of spots of the opposite polarity in the Hale cycle. There are several eminent solar physicists predicting cycles 24 and 25 could be much lower than the last 5 spanning the last 55 years.”

The difference between this moment and actual ending of cycle 23 and the beginning of cycle 24 beginning, in terms of a climate temperature signal, is most likely zilch. Although hardly definitive, increasingly, solar TSI reconstructions point to a more stable cycle minimum, over the long term, with the variance occurring at the top of the cycle curve. Identification of a climate temperature signal from TSI variance over the eleven-year cycle is very uncertain. We can’t even find a climate signal for the periodic annual 17 – 19w/sq.m increase at the earth surface caused by the earth’s eccentric orbit. This orbital TSI increase is about a hundred times stronger than the eleven year TSI increase. As you know, overlapping cycles are the norm.

>skots wrote: “There are small differences in the Hadley and GISS temperature record output, and there are small differences in the data collected, and how the data is interpreted. The treatment of the Arctic is one of the larger differences. The Hadley record does not include much of the Arctic latitudes, but GISS interpolates areas of the Arctic waters from adjacent temperature stations. Since the Arctic latitudes warm more than mid and tropical, and have recently experienced pronounced temperature increases, the different methods of data treatment would be expected to influence results in the Hadley and GISS records, and they do.

Another difference in the Hadley/GISS series is the period on which the records are based. GISS temperature anomalies (temperature measurements above or below the base period norm) are calculated against the years 1951 to 1981. Hadley calculates its anomalies based on temperatures between 1961 and 1990. Since 1961-1990 was a warmer period, the Hadley anomalies are lower numerically. A comparison of the two records requires a conversion to a common base. When this is done the records are remarkably similar, although Hadley numbers are slightly and consistently lower. Nevertheless, and perhaps more importantly, with a few exceptions, the two records move in nearly parallel fashion.”

“>Rog wrote: “GISS is the hottest of the indexes I think skots told us…”

Indicating that “GISS is hottest” in the example above, points to the casual and simplistic distillation of information common to your posts in this thread. Because of your pattern of omitting the enlightening detail, ( in this case, the base period and treatment of the arctic ), it’s difficult for me to reconcile your loose interpretations with “care(ing) passionately about scientific honesty and truth.” Sincerely, Rog, I don’t know if you believe what you’ve written or if you’re entertaining us with your tenacity. I’m left thinking of your posts as a caricature of the very thing(s) that you’re critical of.

Edited by skots on 04/26/2008 05:39:51 MDT.

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
Re: Re: Re: Re: Rearranging the deck chairs on 04/25/2008 11:07:28 MDT Print View

Bless you, skots, for taking over the data-slinging. I am SO INCONCEIVEABLY BORED with it!

I'll stick to bashing Heartland...

Edited by acrosome on 04/25/2008 11:07:59 MDT.

Jason Brinkman
(jbrinkmanboi) - MLife

Locale: Idaho
The Carbon Flame War on 04/25/2008 13:22:37 MDT Print View

Wow. Truly an impressive thread. At least by volume! Who knew that the Bushbuddy could be so controversial?

Now I am not a climate scientist, so I am not going to enter the "scientific" debate. Instead, how about this overly simplified approach:

Whether or not the earth is warming...

And whether or not that is due to:
- carbon dioxide
- solar radiation
- methane
- volcanoes
- aliens
- flatulance
- this thread
- none of the above...

Humans are burning increasingly alarming amounts of carbon based fuels (of which fossil fuels are a non-renewable subset), which is neither natural nor sustainable.

So, how about putting all this brainpower to work on a sustainable long-term solution, rather than debating if the present non-sustainable trend is going to have a measurable impact on climate and society.

In any event, the tree I planted in my backyard last year will offset hundreds of years of using a Bushbuddy for a normal number of backpacking trips.

Long live the Bushbuddy!

Edited by jbrinkmanboi on 04/25/2008 13:24:22 MDT.

s k
(skots) - F
Re: The Carbon Flame War on 04/25/2008 16:06:21 MDT Print View

Hi, Jason,

I like your idea Jason. That conversation may be as heated, but certainly productive.

Not to leave you with the wrong impression, volcanoes are usually associated with cooling as the ash etc. blocks or reflects incoming sun. But a period of cooling volcanic activity can lay the foundation for a subsequent larger warming. Sorry for the confusion.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Re: The Carbon Flame War on 04/25/2008 17:21:45 MDT Print View

stiamo volando all'alba, ringraziamenti per il colloquio grande, noi li vedremo in una settimana.

Ciao :-)

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: Re: The Carbon Flame War on 04/25/2008 18:55:11 MDT Print View

During my college years in the late 1970's, the debate was about global cooling. If you're not an old curmudgeon, then you missed it. Too bad. Furthermore, only a few years earlier there was an oil crisis and long lines at gas stations and time spent by some of us serving in the military in a far away sea. Not only was the Earth going to freeze over, we were going to run out of oil soon, very soon.

I believe I gained a healthy skepticism towards scientific propaganda (i.e., 'everyone knows', 'only idiots deny', etc.) and an awareness to try to understand who profits and who loses when we attempt to change human related places or things.

Back then, the world did seem bleak for a young person. I'm not sure if I doubted that then was The End or if it was my passion for a beautiful woman, but we created a new human. He will turn thirty next month and the only people that I know of that live in igloos are those Yellowstone backpackers that I read about here. Gas is almost four bucks a gallon, but it's still available.

Of course, this time everything is different, right?
: )

1978 - Me and my very pregnant wife


Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
Re: Re: Re: The Carbon Flame War on 04/26/2008 01:17:55 MDT Print View


I agree that a fatalist mentality is counterproductive. But hear me out...

I grew up thinking that I would die by nuclear blast. While that could still happen, it seems much less likely now. But that doesn't mean that the threat wasn't real- it just means that the human race dodged a bullet. And we dodged it by not sticking our heads in the sand about it. Many, many people worked VERY hard to reduce that threat, and public awareness played no small part in it.

(For which, oddly, I thank God for Jimmy Carter, Mikhail Gorbachev, AND Ronald Reagan.)

Thinking that everything will always turn out OK because it always has in the past is a specious argument. Bad things do happen, after all.

If you are asking yourself "Who profits?", look at my last post about Heartland.

I'm not calling Rog an idiot. I respect his opinion, even if I think it is wrong. There are utterly barking mad people out there, but Rog isn't one of them. Intelligent, rational people CAN disagree, after all. I have acknowledged that scientific consensus can be wrong- witness my Helicobacter pylori example. That's the nature of science: theories are tested and DISCARDED when it becomes obvious that they are inaccurate. At some point the engineers need to actually get to work and build something based on the theories, though. If you refuse to do anything because you think that the theories will always be disproved, then you will do NOTHING, EVER. In effect, you are endorsing Heartland's "no regrets" policy.

So, go club a seal and then relax with a smoke lit from a burning oil drum while your mountaintop-removal mining operation posts record profits. :-) (Sorry about the reductio ad absurdum...)

Back to being serious- I'm not talking about fatalism. Hell, I want to DO something about our environmental woes. I'm sure Rog does, too. Do I worry myself to the point of bleeding ulcers about all of this? No! (Did anyone catch that joke...?) I'm trying to enjoy life. But I'm not just going to sit back and assume that 'the government' or, God help me, 'the corporations' will fix the problems, either.

Anyway, George, I want MY child to have a good life, too.

Edited by acrosome on 04/26/2008 01:47:41 MDT.

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
Re: The Carbon Flame War on 04/26/2008 01:46:01 MDT Print View


Yeah, sustainability was sort of my whole point about burning small amounts of wood, such as in a Bushbuddy, back on the original thread before I split this one off. You have, perhaps unwittingly, agreed with both Rog and me on this subject. :-)

To address your other point:

I maintain that the first step toward directing brainpower at a problem is convincing people that there is a problem...

I certainly agree with the basic sentiment,though. I, too , worry about SUSTAINABILITY a lot. In fact, it is a large part of my opposition to fossil fuels. This is one reason that I am something of an oddity: a pro-nuke environmentalist. (You can make arguments against the sustainability of nuclear power, but it'll do for the next thousand years while we come up with something better, like solar-power satellites or something.)

But then, one of the founders of Greenpeace has changed his opinion on nuclear power, too. Here's a Washington Post article:

Hmm. I hope I didn't just start a nuclear-power debate... :-)

Edited by acrosome on 04/26/2008 02:12:05 MDT.

(cuzzettj) - MLife

Locale: NorCal - South Bay
"The Carbon Flame War" on 04/26/2008 02:44:09 MDT Print View

George - It is funny. My dad and I had the same conversation only a few months ago about the concerns in the early to mid 70s. He compared them to now, also. College, war, and family. He thinks fuel prices go up because we are at war (think fuel rations durring WWII as another comparison). Makes sense. Also, during war we have seen recycling come out of WWII and victory gardens. The 60s and 70s gave us hippies. Still see signs of life out here in California. We now look to the organic markets and local farms as a viable option for produce and other healthy goods. I know our farmers markets over all cost compared to stores is identical or less in most situations to the local stores.

I think good will come out of all of this and I think things will settle down until the media/goverment finds some other new and important agenda item to keep our minds off the billions being spent on the war.

Mind you I am no anti-war protestor. Though I wish for a quick ending. I am a former Infantryman. I hold no bones about what it takes to fight and win. I know it is ugly and cruel. No wonder we are so rapped up in the other issues as a nation lately.

As for nuclear power. From my conversation with a few friends who work in the industry it still seems to be one of the better choices. Especially until we can derive more power from the other choices.

I loved how the guy above mentioned Solar Powered Spacecraft. I work in that industry. It gave us better batteries. Maybe one day it will give us other things.

Thanks to all for your insight. Great thread.

s k
(skots) - F
Re: Re: Re: The Carbon Flame War on 04/26/2008 07:40:50 MDT Print View

Hey George,

I guess the bad news is that I predate you, but the good news is that I still have hair.

The climate debate in the seventies also included the potential for warming, and I'll have to say that I missed both of the possibilities.

I do share your skepticism for the "everyone knows" etc lingo, but I don't associate the trash talk with science. The research and publication that I see is usually guarded, qualified, and conservative. Of course, that style doesn't
guarantee correct result or interpretation.

And I agree that the profit motive will give you a very good idea of why, who's saying what. From a local re-zoning question to a national marketing campaign, this is often evident. But, not everyone, always acts from the profit motive.

The closer a person gets to the primary research and data, the better the chance of a clear view of the puzzle, one piece at a time. If nothing else, this thread shows that there is an abundance of product available.

In thirty years, our understanding of everything scientific has been revolutionized a thousand times. Human nature, same ole', same ole'. That combination makes for an optimistic future, reflected as clearly in your photo above as in the post by Jason B.(and Jason C. for that matter) above.

By the way George, I love the fit of your shirt.

Arapiles .
(Arapiles) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The Carbon Flame War on 04/27/2008 04:58:21 MDT Print View

offending passage removed pending clarification from Christopher Monckton.

Update: 4/24"

Hi Rog

That's still just as nutty. An Australian sea-level team who are operatives of the IPCC travels to Mauritius to destroy a tree because they're against Mr Moner (spelling?).... right. Sounds like a plot from a Bond movie, with Mr Moner as Bond and the IPCC as SMERSH.

He doesn't do himself any favours by starting the interview like this:

"There are many good sea-level people in the world, but let's put it this way: There's no one who's beaten me."

How do you "beat" an academic? And if you are that good, why start off by telling everyone about it? Wouldn't it be self-evident? I suspect that Stephen Hawking - who does enjoy the respect of his peers - doesn't start interviews by boasting about his accomplishments.

In any case, there're two points that seem to be being missed here:

1. As far as I'm aware, no-one's saying that the Maldives IS being flooded by rising sea-levels but that it WILL be if they do rise. Going there and then claiming that there's been no rise in sea-levels and that therefore there's no such thing as global warming smacks of tilting at windmills, or perhaps setting up straw men to knock down.

2. That tree looks to me like a mangrove, and unless that photo's taken at high tide it would be under water during even a modest tide. So it seems unlikely proof that there's no such thing as rising sea levels - you see, a rising sea level really wouldn't sweep away a mangrove ....


p.s. what's going on with the photo, with its split across the middle and the cut off shadow on the left?

Arapiles .
(Arapiles) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Re: Re: Stirling engine - solar powered! on 04/27/2008 05:01:32 MDT Print View

"But one of the headline speakers at the conference was Australian oil imported David Archibald, so I guess that gives the conference a certain respectability. :-)"


I think you'll find that the presence of an Australian will give any gathering a certain respectability.

Arapiles .
(Arapiles) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Heartland, George Pell, usual suspects et al on 04/27/2008 05:47:35 MDT Print View

I was discussing all this with a friend. She wanted me to find her a copy of an article by George Pell, Roman Catholic Cardinal of Australia, in which he aired his latest claims that global warming is a myth.

Thing is, she's lived on the same farm all of her life and whatever a city-based clergyman may think of the issue, when your farm hasn't had significant rain for 10 years and when long-established weather patterns change, seemingly for good, then it's pretty hard to deny that something's going on.

The thing we ended up wondering is why, all of a sudden, the right (Cardinal Pell is regarded as being on the right of Australian society in relation to a lot of social issues) has started depicting climate change as a greeny plot. Why the sudden emergence of Heartland, Lavoisier et al?

Edited by Arapiles on 04/27/2008 21:26:31 MDT.

Tony Beasley
(tbeasley) - MLife

Locale: Pigeon House Mt from the Castle
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The Carbon Flame War on 04/27/2008 16:47:28 MDT Print View

I would like to thank Rog, Dean and others for one of the best debates I have followed on BPL.

I am a Senior lab technician in a Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Lab at the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia.

I am no expert on the topic but the general consensus amongst the Scientists that I work for is that Global warming is real.

I have to agree with Arapiles that something is happening with Australia's climate, we have just had a La Nina event where we received below average rain fall instead of the high rainfall that is normally associated with La Nina. This was still more than we have been getting in the past few years.


Edited by tbeasley on 04/27/2008 17:14:30 MDT.

Andrew Lush
(lushy) - MLife

Locale: Lake Mungo, Mutawintji NPs
Re: Heartland, George Pell, usual suspects et al on 04/27/2008 16:51:54 MDT Print View

I never, ever, thought I would see the name "George Pell" pop up on BPL. But there you go.

Here's what the big fella actually said (in an article entitled "Scaremongers")

And here's what the Age newspaper said about him saying it:

For the record, Pell was widely and roundly condemned in Australia for his foray into the intricacies of climate science.

Edited by lushy on 04/27/2008 19:40:18 MDT.

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
Australians on 04/28/2008 05:30:59 MDT Print View

Rog sez:
"I think you'll find that the presence of an Australian will give any gathering a certain respectability."

As long as you can keep them sober, I think this goes without saying. ;-)

Tony sez:
"I am a Senior lab technician in a Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Lab at the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia."

On a serious note, I'm generally very impressed with academia in Australia. It was a long time ago so the data may be old, but I remember reading a factoid to the effect that Australia publishes more scientific papers per capita than any other nation. Or continent.